Brittany Salzone Illustration


Dreads - Process Breakdown


Initial Sketch

I don’t always create detailed sketches. If I’m really into an idea I will, otherwise it will stay a really loose sketch, sometimes even just scribbles and basic shapes. Whatever gets the idea on paper, basically.


Initial Sketch Fleshed Out

I take the initial sketch, if there is one, and lower the opacity (usually I colorize the initial sketch layer to a bright blue or red) and draw over it. It is in this stage where I decide to add or remove things from the first sketch. Since I’m working in Photoshop, it makes things easier. I might even start outlining shapes and playing with a little value to see if I like how the piece is progressing. Still keeping it loose though.


Playing With Value

Here I start playing with the values a bit more. Adding some highlights here and there, darkening up some areas in the depths of her dreads, and adding some white surrounding her.


I decide where I want the focus, her face in this case, and start refining that the most. Reworking values, adding in strong whites, and smoothing things out as needed. This is just the grind stage. I take it as far as I want. I was really enjoying the sketchy feel to this though, so I didn’t go too crazy.


Here is where I test out possible colors, or decide if it will stay in black and white. I use my same drawing/blending brush on a new layer above all the other layers, and start slapping in a color or two. I’ll use ctrl+u to open up Hue/Saturation, and start playing with the sliders till I find a color I like for the piece. When that’s done I’ll set the layer mode to either Opacity or Color and make any adjustments I need to as well.


I’ll zoom out really far till the image is only about 2 inches on my monitor, and I’ll access the overall values and color. I look for any areas that are too rough or don’t match the overall quality of the piece. I keep making small adjustments till I’m happy, and call it finished!

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